ChiScoops’ Chicago Area Preseason High School Basketball Top 25

Morgan Park Head Basketball Coach Nick Irvin, Photo Via Chicago Suntimes
  1. Morgan Park- The areas top team is led by a D1 backcourt in Marcus Watson (Wake Forest) and uncommitted/ChiScoops #1 player in the state, Adam Miller, who just picked up an offer from Michigan, as he is down to his “Top 3”. While the loss of Seryee Lewis was disappointing for coach Nick Irvin, the Mustangs have plenty in reserve. High major junior guard Brandon Weston and senior Isaiah Murrell look to contribute big time to the Class 3A and City favorites. This team will be exciting to watch.
  2. Whitney Young- Coach Tyrone Slaughter and the Dolphins start the season as the Class 4A favorite. Led by Duke-bound guard DJ Steward and uncommitted senior guard Tyler Beard, this team will be tough. Look for junior transfer Jaehshon Thomas and the dynamic freshman guard Dalen Davis to play big roles.
  3. Bloom- Is this the year the potential of this senior class is realized. Minnesota commit Martice Mitchell leads a much heralded group of seniors featuring D1 guards Dantae Maddox and Keshawn Williams among others. The talent is there, finishing the job on the court is all that remains.
  4. Bogan- How will this team respond after finishing last season a box-out short of a state championship. They return a good group of contributors, while adding a couple of transfers. 6’8” Tremear Fraley and guards Darrion Jones and Kyndall Davis highlights the roster. I am looking forward to attending the rematch vs Morgan Park this year.
  5. Stevenson- Coming off a strong summer in which this group won the loaded 64 team field at Riverside-Brookfield, they are primed for a deep state run. The biggest name in the program is coach Pat Ambrose, which makes this team just that, a TEAM. The coaches son, senior Matt Ambrose will lead the attack. They will be playoff ready, as their non-conference schedule is tough, it features games vs multiple top 25 teams.
  6. Marion Catholic- The University of Iowa commit Ahron Ulis and Western Illinois commit Elijah Jones lead the attack for this group. Underrated guard Joe Green will contribute as well. They look to cap off an unprecedented 4 year run that has seen this program win more games than any group in school history over that time span. Look for this team to be right there at the end contending for a spot downstate in Class 4A.
  7. Curie- The defending City Champs are right back near the top of our preseason rankings. After losing Kansas State signee DaJuan Gordon, coach Mike Oliver will depend heavily on SEMO commit Ramean Hinton. Replacing floor general and leader Tre Hamilton may be their biggest challenge. Look for Nick Owens, Elijah Pickens, and the veteran, but unproven bench to play a big role in this teams success. Their up and down hectic pace is hard to plan for. This team is dangerous.
  8. Simeon- After a “down” year, going 20-15, but advancing to the supersectionals, before losing a nail biter to Curie, Simeon is looking for a bounce-back season. Ahamad Bynum and transfer Jeremiah Williams will lead the attack. Look for Freshman Davious Loury and Jalen Griffin to contribute on the varsity level. This team is young, but they are still a Class 4A team to watch.
  9. Orr- What does coach Lou Adams have up his sleeve this year? After graduating the core of last years team (all transfers) how will Orr look this year. Oft-injured, but talented Damarius Splunge looks to finally be healthy. Reggie Strong, and Shaun Harris will play big roles in Orr’s quest to 4-peat. Under the radar transfer Norvell Meadows will be the X-Factor.
  10. Bolingbrook- This team has reloaded after losing their top 3 guards to the Div. 1 level. Athletic guard Darius Buford leads the attack. Expect big contributions from Alijah Nelson and Kai Evans. Interesting 2023 group. Keep an eye on this team.
  11. Westinghouse- The House returns to the Red, and the top 25. After winning their conference and a regional championship last year, this years squad returns all 5 starters and 9 of their top 10 players. Scoring machine Devin Davis leads the attack. Ryan Brown, Kier Jordan, and DeWayne Walton will he big contributors. 6’5” sophomore Tony Webb and 6’6” junior Gary Johns are high major talents. Class 3A dark horse.
  12. Benet- Coach Heidkamp returns 3 year varsity starter Colin Crothers, an early Player of the Year candidate. 6’5” Tyler Van Eekeren is expected to contribute as well. Guard play will be key for this group.
  13. Fenwick- This team goes as far as recent Louisville commit Bryce Hopkins takes them. Sophomore guards Trey Pettigrew and Kaden Cobb could push this team to another level as their development is paramount in this teams success. Depth may be an issue. An early Thanksgiving tourney test vs the #11 and #12 teams in our rankings will tell a lot.
  14. Lincoln Park- Coach Pat Gordon has done a great job the last few years of building this program up. The oft-overlooked north side school has become a team to reckon with! The dynamic duo junior backcourt featuring Ismail Habib and Julio Montes are among the city’s best. This team had some good wins last year, none bigger than beating Whitney Young on the road. They look to be more consistent this year as a lot of new faces will need to contribute.
  15. Geneva- Losing the conference Player of the Year Jack McDonald will be hard to replace for the Vikings. Coach Scott Hennig will rely on the senior leadership of Josh Preston to keep things afloat. They will have a group of solid contributors from last years squad, as well as a couple of guys moving up from the JV level. While 30+ wins isn’t expected, look for this team to be competitive throughout.
  16. Notre Dame- Coming off a 19-12 record that saw this team lose a regional matchup against Evanston this team has big expectations. Led by juniors Troy D’amico and 2-sport star Anthony Sayles this team looks ready to contend for a Class 3A crown. They will get contributions from a solid supporting cast as well. A solid schedule, highlighted by matchups vs Marian Catholic and Benet will be worth watching.
  17. Homewood-Flossmoor- College of Charleston commit R.J. Ogom leads the attack for H-F this year. Coach Marc Condotti has a strong veteran group that is looking to compete for the South Suburban league title. Look for a few unknowns to contribute big time to this team at some point during the year.
  18. Glenbrook South- Coach Phil Ralston will depend heavily on high scoring senior guard Dom Martinelli. Coming off a 24 win campaign last year. This team looks to capture a 4A berth downstate this year.
  19. Loyola- Coach Tom Livatino’s team is coming off winning 22 games last year, highlighted by a 9 game winning streak. The challenge this year will be beating the top teams, as they excelled at beating the mid-level teams last year. Senior point guard Quinn Pemberton will take over and lead this squad this season.
  20. OPRF- Look for Isaiah Barnes to have a breakout campaign. He is a high major wing who continues to improve. This team has a good mix of veterans and players with a point to prove. Junior Josh Smith is looking to take the next step in his development. Solid 3A contender.
  21. Hillcrest- This team is led by its 2021 class, headlined by Julius Rollins. Lead guard Kenton Wright is experienced and understand the game. Former Morgan Park Mustangs and 5-star football recruit Mar’Kiese Irving might be the best scorer on this team. This team has great size and will be a threat in class 3A.
  22. Mundelein- Led by 6’8” junior Scott Ebube, this team is not lacking for size. After a surprising season last year that saw this team win 20 games, expections are high this year. Though this team won’t be sneaking up on anyone this year. Will they be able to step up to the challenge?
  23. Evanston- The class 4A Final 4 team from last year is looking to return to Peoria for the third year in a row. Led by 2021 Jaylin Gibson, Blake Peters, and Isaiah Holdin they will be in the Class 4A conversation.
  24. Riverside-Brookfield- Though they lost veteran leadership and scoring to graduation, including Andrew Veon, there is still plenty in reserve. Versatile Richards transfer Paul Zilinskas is a load. He has all-area ability. While they are talented as a whole, this team will go as far as he takes them.
  25. Buffalo Grove- Led by 6’4” sophomore guard Kam Craft, 20 wins is a realistic goal. However, staying in the top 25 throughout the year may be a tough task with this young group.

Chicago Area Preseason High School Basketball Top 25

Next 5

  1. St. Rita
  2. North Lawndale College Prep (NLCP)
  3. Depaul College Prep
  4. St. Viator
  5. York

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